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Clint Eastwood 11, Obama 7, Us 6, Louisiana 6, America 5, Charlotte 5, Ann Romney 5, Msnbc 4, Texas 3, Marco Rubio 3, Navy 3, Barack Obama 3, Pentagon 3, Allstate 3, New Orleans 3, Dennis 3, Joe Biden 3, Ron Reagan 3, Paul Ryan 3, Rubio 3,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    August 31, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am PDT  

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ills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. the romney campaign confirming mitt romney's first stop after accepting his party's nomination will be to the hurricane-hit city of new orleans. he'll meet with louisiana governor bobby jindal and first responders. before mitt romney and paul ryan are flying high on what many are calling a very successful national convention week for the republicans. they kicked off with a victory rally in florida complete with newly unveiled campaign planes and the two promising to take
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their message across the country. >> coming out of tampa, we have given our fellow countrymen a very clear choice. >> i need to have you do the work on november 6th that gets me elected the next president of the united states. that has to happen here in florida. and for that to happen, you're going to have to go out and find a person or two who voted for barack obama. i know they're here. all right? they're not as visible as they used to be. you can see some of the glue on the back of their bumper sticker where it used to be. >> so after pressing the flesh in a state of the union style entrance last night, mitt romney took the stage to deliver the political speech of his lifetime. he got personal and tried to make the case that it's okay to move on now from president obama. >> i wish president obama had succeeded because i want america to succeed. america's been patient.
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americans have supported this president in good faith. but today the time has come to turn the page. i will work with all my energy and soul to restore that america, to lift our eyes to a better future. our children deserve it. our nation depends on it. the peace and freedom of the world require it. and with your help, we will deliver it. let us begin that future for america tonight. >> the pressure is now on for the left and how the democrats will respond when they step up to bat next week. the rebuttal will be televised, president obama and vice president biden hitting eight states between now and tuesday leading into next week's democratic national convention in charlotte. first stop for the president is fort bliss, texas, where he'll address the troops. and joe biden addressing autoworkers in the battleground state of ohio. his first remarks since romney's big speech. there's a live look in lordstown, ohio. we'll say good morning to our
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friday political power panel. michael steele, msnbc analyst and former chairman joins us as well. i want to start with you and mitt romney's visit to new orleans at the invitation of governor bobby jindal. governor jindal did not go on to the republican convention because of isaac and it was barreling down on his state. but romney is beating the president when it comes to the gulf. they wouldn't go on record about any determination of the president going there. with romney going, is it inevitable that the president will go now too? >> well, listen, when you have tragedies like what's going on in the aftermath of this hurricane and people are clearly suffering with some enormous damage, i don't think it behooves either side to make this political. people, i think, whether it's governor romney toor the presidt deciding to go there show the
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appreciation of first responders and comfort those who are hurting, that's a good thing. i don't see this through a political lens. certain things i do, but not this one. >> isn't it about being presidential and looking presidential in a time of crisis? >> well, listen, when it comes to crises, the president has dealt with his fair share. i don't think anyone will be really critical of the president in terms of when he travels to the gulf and when he talks to the people there. he's done this with all the various crisis that we've had to deal with over the last four years. again, when it comes to stuff like this, it really doesn't -- it's not about politics. i think it's about showing that you have a heart and that you care about the country and where you want to take the country. >> michael, mitt romney had some pretty strong indictments of the president last night. take a look. >> how many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in america? many of you felt that way on election day four years ago, hope and change had a powerful appeal. but tonight i'd ask a simple
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question. if you felt that excitement when you voted forarack ama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's president obama? >> "the washington post" also makes this case that obama in '08 is really the best friend of mitt romney. is that the strategy from here on out and reach out to disappointed voters out there? >> oh, absolutely, it is. you saw those themes echoed throughout this week where the republican party and certainly those speaking on behalf of mitt romney and mitt romney himself as you just played were saying to those voters, look, it's okay to come on home. we're going to work this out together. we're going to create a new day. we understand the hope and change feeling you had four years ago. but since that time, not a whole lot has happened. in fact, things have gotten worse. you're much more concerned today than you were then. and i think that's a very powerful message. it will be interesting to see how the democrats rebut that message next week. not to say that they can't. they really can, i guess, in many respects but then that
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becomes the battle for those independent voters out there and to pull at the heartstrings not so much in the term of sympathy and empathy but in terms of making them feel which one of these two gentlemen will work and act in their best interests over the next four years given what they're feeling a experienced up till now. >> how have things gotten worse, though? we're not technically in a recession any more. the economy is slowly coming back. we've seen job s added naturall on its own organically since the president has taken office. we're not in a war situation with iraq any more. osama bin laden is dead. how have things gotten worse for people? people are still struggling, but how has it gotten worse for people? >> if you're still struggling, it's gotten worse for you. put yourself in that person's shoes who has been unemployed for the las 18 or 24 months. i talked to a woman from the state of maryland on the eastern shore of maryland just two weeks ago -- >> but what to get everybody
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back to work when we have. >> but thomas, thomas. >> maeb make president obama a first term president from the day he got into office? >> if what you're saying is so true, buddy, then barack obama should be sailing through this economy. should be sailing in the numbers. but that's not the case now, is it? so the people out there must be feeling something. and that something is what these candidates have to tap into. there's a reason why barack obama's not talking about the lack of job creation and the stagnation in the economy, despite what you're just saying, yeah, there's all these jobs are being created and the money in the economy. the money is on the shelf, it's in bank vaults, not in the economy, not in small businesses. they're not hiring. they're not increasing and expanding their reach in a particular community. so that's what people are feeling. so whether it's today or 18 months ago, in the eyes of that family, in this eyes of those individuals they're worse off. that's what this election is going to boil down to from an economic standpoint. >> erin, from a lot of people's
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perspective, romney finally showed a lot of emotion, making direct appeal last night to women in his speech and talking very passionately about his mother's influence. take a listen. >> i could still see her saying in her beautiful voice, why should women have any less say than men about the great decisions facing our nation? >> all right. so he also spoke about his wife as a mom saying her job was a lot tougher than his. how far do you think that he went to close that all-important gender gap with president obama? >> well, it was obvious that he needed to try, but i talked to a lot of independent women over the last couple of days. and a big theme that i heard was they thought it sounded kind of forced, that it was very clear that mitt romney needs women in order to win. and so that was sort of an obvious appeal. now, people did seem to really like condoleezza rice and her line that she could be president if she wants to. i think that's what stuck out the most to a lot of women voters. people did seem to like ann
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romney a lot. but in terms of appealing to women, kond o o leeza rice was the biggest headliner here. >> that would be the one with the bespeech. the biggest headliner might be clint eastwood and talking to the empty chair that's getting a lot of buzz. let's remind everybody of what that looked like. >> i've got mr. obama sitting here. and i just was going to ask him a couple questions. how do you handle -- how do you handle promises that you've made when you were running for election? and how d y handle -- how do you handle it? i mean, what do you say to people? do you just -- you know -- i know people -- people were wondering. you don't, you don't have it? okay. i thought maybe it was an excuse. what do you mean shut up? >> all right, so the obama campaign seized on it with a twit pic. here is their reaction saying
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this seat is taken. here's our reaction on air after that speech if you missed it. >> if he was at the apollo wee have had the guy that comes with rope that brings off stage. i waleft the stable and went an got a cookie because i worried that my blood sugar was so long that i had passed out and my brain had generated these things that couldn't be real in the last hour of a republican convention. >> how much shelf life is that moment going to have? >> oh, more than any of us want it to have, that's for sure. >> finally an honest answer. >> i think that that is going to be, you know, sort of that piece of chewing gum on the bottom of your shoe or something worse when you come out of the n's room. the reality of it is, it's not good to be outcome determinative when you're at the polls, but again it feeds into an overall narrative that distracts from what was up to that point a seamless and i think very moving
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introduction of mitt romney. they should have flipped some things around, had that video, which was not seen by a vast majority of americans introduce mitt in that 10:00 hour. and that would have just been a wonderful way to both emotionally and visually set him up to come in and give what was a powerful speech. >> it really was a hurl to the crescendo of the evening that we saw there was unscripted, ad libbed, obviously he can show funny and a lighter side of himself, but people scratching their heads about that as it was kind of off track. chris, ann romney was asked about eastwood and here was her response. >> i have to ask about clint eastwood's performance last night. a nice way of saying it was it was unorthodox for a political convention. but be honest, did that go exactly as you all had planned? >> i don't think anyone can go as the way clint eastwood wants
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it to go. i was thrilled for his support. >> so chris, did using clint eastwood at that time, as michael says, you know, putting him right there at the prime time start, did it make your day? and waste an opportunity for a campaign that really has no room for overconfidence? >> yes, i think he made democrats feel lucky. the reality is when you look at the republican convention, there was good, bad and ugly. i think you saw the ugly with the clint eastwood speech. in all seriousness, when you have an hour to basically make your case to the american people that any strategist for the republican candidate thought this was a good idea, i would suggest they start thinking about a new line of work or new career. this was an awful idea. it hurt them. it hurt their message. it's what we're talking about. it really was a huge mistake. i can tell you ann romney, she was not thrilled. that was the exact opposite face of a thrilled spouse. >> from a headline perspective,
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does that take people off course what the headline should be today? >> just a bit, yes. i would add, i was on the convention floor when that happened. a lot of the delegates on the floor actually thought it was pretty funny. but i was reading through twitter and people thought it was so strange. now the romney aign, while mitt romney was speaking, said it was a break from all the political speeches. but the thing is using clint eastwood was innately political because during the super bowl he had that half time in america ad. so of course it was political. perhaps they're regretting that today. >> i was reading on twitter about clint eastwood. people saying that the 82-year-old knew what the internet was, he'd be very upset. >> aw. oh, geez. >> he's trending on twitter. he still is. he's a hot commodity today. thanks. so bag question is mitt romney trying to one-up the president as responder in chief? we have more on his trip to the
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storm ravaged gulf and whether president obama is missing an opportunity. then later how the twitterverse has blown up over the eastwood empty chair speech. clint eastwood on the phone with obama now, it all went according to plan, sir. we make a simple thing. a thing that helps you buy other things. but plenty of companies do that. so we make something else. we help make life a little easier, more convenient, more rewarding, more entertaining. year after year. it's the reason why we don't have customers. we have members. american express. welcome in. with our babysitter. no. these work, right?
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right now president obama is going to be headed to ft. bliss in el paso, texas, where he'll serve an election year reminder that he kept a promise to end the iraq war. but the white house is calling an official presidential visit, this trip. the president also traveled to fort bliss two years ago. today, though, he announced the end of the combat mission in
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iraq. meanwhile, president obama and vice president biden will visit a total of seven battleground states before next tuesday. it's a busy time. that's the day the democratic national convention begins in charlotte in north carolina. now, as we told you at the top of the hour, we're waiting for vice president joe biden's speech. he's traveling to ohio today to youngstown, ohio, to give a speech there. and we'll bring you that, a part of it, when he arrives. we'll check in with mike vick kara. reaction from the white house from the republican national convention. i know there's been a lot of talk with the president and the first lady. >> that's right. jay carnie told us yesterday that he didn't know whether the president watched the paul ryan speech. he said that he doubted that he watched it. he read about it. strange credulity to think that the president wouldn't have watched mitt romney last night but we don't know for sure if he did or not. when they've gotten airborne, the president winging his way to
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ft. bliss in el paso. we do expect to hear from jay carney. this is an official event heading to fort bliss in el passy to talk about the commitment he made in that very same spot exactly two years ago today to end combat operations in iraq. the president underscoring the fact that he has followed through on this promise and in this context considering everything that's transpired in the last week and next week from now until november 6th it has to be seen in a plit canal context whether or not they call it an official trip or not. the president heading out for three days and back out at the white house tonight. three days of pure campaigning in a lot of the swing state, north carolina, colorado, iowa right up to the convention trying to build that momentum keeping a foot on the gas trying to shift the attention away from the republicans. they've had their say. and on to what's going to happen next week in charlotte. >> mike vick yur ra at the white house.
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appreciate it. join us us is melissa perry. we're not going to interview an empty chair. we've got the real deal. melissa, first, what do you make of mitt romney heading off to new orleans? the president, as we saw -- if we can get that map back up and show everybody the travel plan for the president and the vice president, the states they're going to hit. but mitt romney, there's the president's travel. mitt romney going straight to the gulf today. bobby jindal inviting him there. >> absolutely. i am nothing but pleased that governor romney is heading to the gulf coast. there is suffering there. there's devastation and damage there. and mitt romney taking the time out of campaigning to go i think is, you know, i could read it in bad ways, but i'm not going to. i'll see that solely as a good thing because it will keep cameras there and that will bring resources. as important as that kind of empathetic move is, what i want to be certain is that this visit will help to drive home to mr. romney and to the republican
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party that collective action is necessary. we do need government to do things like build levees. the one levee that was overtopped in this case was not a federal levee, it was a local levee. i hope he takes that lesson home from the gulf coast. >> the one thing that people can't escape from this is how people will look at this with the political lens and the eye of the fact that president bush, a republican, flew over new orleans, there was pictures on the plane and him looking out very concerned. thanking brownie for his work at fema. and now people have to wonder, you know, this is a political necessity to go there and look presidential for mitt romney or, as you say, helping with the empathy. >> yeah, well, i mean, again, we can read this in ways that he's just trying to not be bush and perhaps that's true. but you know, again, for me, this is just in my role as a gulf coast resident, if he comes and brings with him cameras and those cameras help to bring resources and attention, then in this case i'm going to do
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nothing but say good and positive things about it. the question isn't just the photo op. the question is the policies. he has on his ticket, a vice presidential candidate who stood in the way of fema funding. he has in his policy platforms things that would reduce the ability of the gulf coast to be safe from storms. he made fun of, last night, the idea of global warming and rising waters, and did that while people were suffering on the gulf coast. so the photo op is nice. i'm happy for it. but it's got bring policy with it. >> the speech, monday morning quarterback that. did he deliver on coming across and letting the american voter get to know him better and really hit a home run? >> i think it's not a home run for one reason. the one reason i do think sure he has strong lines, good zingers in there, he talked more about himself. but here's what he didn't do. he did not explain anything about his actual policy. he basically said the president's no good, i'm great,
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trust me, i'm do better. so for those who are predisposed to trust him, that is going to be sufficient. but for everybody else who is looking for policy content, to what that trust may mean, he failed to hit a home run on that. >> very interesting, richard wolffe was talking about this is about a firing and hiring decision. and seeing if he can meet the bar on wanting us to fire the president and hire him. and it is down to that trust issue. >> yep. and the president hasn't had his chance to make his case yet, which will come this week. >> we'll see it, we shall see it. all the chairs and whatever they bring out. you can catch melissa here on weekends at 10:00 a.m. eastern. speaking of isaac, the storm is finally not hovering over louisiana any more. the lights are starting to come back own. we'll give you an update on that region next. plus no easy decision. the pentagon considering legal action against the former navy s.e.a.l. who wrote no easy day. that tell-all book about the bin laden raid. [ female announce] how do you define your moment? the blissful pause
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developing now, heavy rains from tropical storm isaac is moving north as the dpufl tries to clean up. official are meeting to decide how to deal with a danled levee. officials hope that lower water levels will reduce the pressure on the weakened dam. floodwaters are receding in louisiana. the storm is blamed on at least five deaths and officials fear they could find more victims. they were grateful but in shock. >> he's scared to death. he's scared. but they'll be all right. >> it's just hard to fathom. it really is. >> i think i say i was prepared, but i think i'm just still numb. >> wow, right now about 30% of louisiana is still without power. >> as we told you a retired navy s.e.a.l. could face legal action for his upcoming book about the raid that killed osama bin la n laden. the pentagon is threatening to
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file criminal charges against the man who wrote the book "no easy day." he wrote the book under a pseudonym. the disguised author spoke to "60 minutes" and said it was not timed for the election but the anniversary of 9/11. >> my worry from the beginning is it's a political season. this book is not political whatsoever. doesn't bad mouth either party. he's crazy, he's on either side of the aisle who want to make it political, shame on them. >> chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski joins us to explain what's going on with this. explain the kind of charges we're actually talking about. >> this may not be as easily explained as one might think. you know, last night the general counsel here at the do drd, the pentagon's top lawyer sent a letter to the publisher reminding the author that he had signed two nondisclosure agreements which prohibit about him writing about any kind of
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classified -- divulging any classified information. but more importantly, it also stressed that he was already in material breach of that agreement because he did not submit his book, his transcript for review by the dod and the military. and that appears to be the crux of what's going on here. george little, the pentagon spokesman, told us just a few minutes ago that there may or may not be classified information in this book, but it is clear that he did not submit this for review so then what kind of punishment would be available to the government is still unclear. at the very least, the government could try to seize any profits, any payments that this navy s.e.a.l. gets for the book, but at this point, the idea of any direct criminal charges are not quite clear just as of yet. >> all profits were going to go to other military families,
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right? >> not all profits. he said a majority of the profit, but even that money could potentially be seized by the government. any payments made to this s.e.a.l. could be seize pdp but one military official laughed and said, look, lawyers and accountants can find many ways to hide the money. >> thank you, sir. >> you bet. mitt romney introduces himself to voters in the most high profile speech of his political career. but was this the real romney? the author of the book with the same name joins me to talk about that and ron reagan will be here, too. plus our eyes on a news conference in lansing, michigan. in just a few minutes we get to find out who the newest multimillionaire is. the only winner from that $337 million powerball jack pot. are you related to him?
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what do you mean shut up? okay. i thought it was just because
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somebody had the stupid idea of trying tris in downtown new york city. maybe that was it. >> clint east wood's appearance at the republican national convention last night was a surprise and something you might say of a show stopper. msnbc's richard liu has been following it on twitter. he's been quite the topic on twitter today. >> there's ab lot to talk about in terms of clint eastwood and what he did with that chair. the social media fe nom is being called eastwooding, taking pictures the of a chair. eastwoods chair. but the most attention has come from this parody twitter handle called invisible obama with over 40,000 followers right now. also last night who got some attention was senator marco rubio. and while he is not all the talk today, he was during his speech. when it came to the most tweets per minute, he came in second
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with close to 9,000. eastwood right behind him on that one. reinforcing the importance of the latino vote, romney's son took to the stage. >> mi padre, mitt romney -- [ speaking spanish ] >> rubio and son romney's efforts were aimed at the few latino delegates on the floor. but more importantly latino voters at home. one way to reach them has been said by some analysts socialed me wra. younger voters are almost twice as likely to be using twitter. 31% paired to 15 for all adults. not only age. latinos use twitter more often than other ethnic groups. 12% of hispanics use twitter on cell phones while just 7% of whites do and african-americans on this count. the same is true online.
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hispanics only second to african-american. they're leveraging this opportunity and going big on youtube. voter latino has been working on public service announcements like demi lovato who has more than 13 million fans on facebook and 8.5 million followers on twitter. the power here of someone like lovato. when she tweeted she was working with voter latino, she was retweeted 13 million times. good stuff, richard. it's really been interesting to watch. so as we heard from richard, marco rubio was certainly a hot topic after last night's speech. victoria, great to see you. as we talk about marco rubio, we cannot omit the fact that there were several prominent latino politicians also who had speaking slots during the
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republican national convention. we mention rubio. also new mexico's governor susanna martinez, senate candidate ted cruz in texas. combined with their speeches and social media power, is this really resonating with hispanic voters? >> we did see a good effort by the part of the republican national committee to reach out to latinos by telling these immigrant stories. we even saw non-latinos, nikki haley, bob mcdonnell. so we saw immigrant flag waving, but there was no substance. in talking what we do with immigrants now and in the future, there was nothing there. but that being said, we did see the rnc and especially in the video that they put out trying to reach them in a small business profile. latino-owned businesses are the fastest group in the country. the problem is what are they going to do about the wage
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earners who make up the vast majority of latinos? >> let's talk more about that business angle because as we recall president obama won two-thirds of the latino vote in '08 but according to the telemundo poll he's holding on to a similar lead in this election cycle. as we talk about business and, as you say, that emerging small business leader are within the latino community, will romney's message that he's better for those small businesses and the economy override the immigration/that certaimmigratin issue that some may have with mitt romney's ticket? >> we've seen the republican party trying to put immigration on the back burner, not come back to it. the message is about the economy. we're going to see whether or not latinos who are at large buy it. at the same time while the vast majority of latinos are supporting the president in these polls they said that they would vote for the president if the election were held tomorrow, will they turn out for him. so the key for obama is going to be getting them to turn out.
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those wagers and even those small business owners, hey, you may be a small business owner but having health care is going to help your business. so he's going to try to find those messages to contribute to the latino electorate in general. >> as you say buying it and the latino vote is to the right right now it's interesting that some are criticizing ann romney and the comments that she made this week about why the republican message might not be reaching latino voters. take a look at this. hold on one sec. let's try that again. >> it really is a message that would resonate well if they could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the democratic machines that have made us look like we don't care about this community, and that is not true. >> that was from the latino
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coalition luncheon. victoria, is that just finger pointing at the left blaming democrats for making republicans look bad? >> thomas, i actually agree with ann romney. she hit the nail on the head here. because for historical and socioeconomic reasons latinos have been drawn to the democratic party. the democratic party historically has been the party of immigrants, immigrant waves, latinos not being the exception. economically speaking latinos tend to be middle/lower income folks who seek out the poll sis of the democratic party. however, the republican party does have an in if it toens down the anti-immigrant receipt rick. new latino immigrants don't have a partisan anchor. they don't have a father or grandfather who was a democrat slate. >> thank you so much.
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want to step back to some breaking news we're just learning now aboard air force one, jay carney announcing that president obama will make a trip to louisiana and the gulf on labor day. coming up on monday. as we told you at the top of the hour president obama and joe biden are on a campaign tour across the country visiting important states like colorado and then doubling back through wisconsin and then down on to charlotte for the start of their convention on tuesday. it's a lot of travel between now and then, but the president will officially visit louisiana on monday. more americans are going to be traveling over this labor day weekend, even as isaac is being blamed for driving up prices at the gas pump. aaa is predicting that 33 million travelers this weekend will be on the roads. that's a 2.9% increase since last year. it would be the highest travel volume since the 2008 recession. phil lebeau joins me now li. pr
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now? obviously people are concerned what it will take to fill up their tank just in normal times, but since isaac could be to blame for the rising costs, where will we see them go? >> i think the concern about isaac driving up prices has mitigated a bit. because if you look at the impact of the hurricane on the energy complex, the refineries down in the gulf region, there was some impact but certainly not the damage that many feared. as a result we've started to see the futures when it comes to gasoline come down a bit. as a result when you look at prices at the pump, yes, the national average is $3.82 a gallon. but we haven't hit that $4 threshold. that seems to be the psychological point where people say i'm paying more. and i know it's the case in some parts of the country. but here in chicago more than $4 a gallon. but for a lot of people it's under $4 a gallon. while they don't like these prices, it doesn't feel as bad as it should be to a lot of
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people. >> phil lebeau. thanks so much. take a look at the stock markets to see how they're doing today. a tough day yesterday, but stocks are hitting new highs today. after ben bernanke said the fed is ready to jump in and help the economy. green arrows across the board. at the start of trading today the dow jones was under water by 100 points. now we see the markets up by 128, the s&p up by 11 and the nasdaq up by 23. whoa, look at all those toys. insuring that stuff must be a pain. nah. he's probably got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. they can bundle all your policies together. lot of paperwork. [ doug ] actually... [ voice of dennis ] an allstate agent can help do the switching and paperwork for you. well, it probably costs a lot. [ voice of dennis ] allstate can save you up to 30% more when you bundle.
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gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more [ russian accent ] rubles. eh, eheh, eh, eh. [ brooklyn accent ] 50% more simoleons. [ western accent ] 50% more sawbucks. ♪ [ maine accent ] 50% more clams. it's a lobster, either way. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. with a 50% annual cash bonus, it's the card for people who like more cash. [ italian accent ] 50% more dough! what's in your wallet? i love my brother. man of integrity, courage and honor. and during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe. mr. obama it's time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policy. >> that was jeb bush on stage defending his brother and
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delivering a stinging indictment to president obama. this morning in lakeland mitt romney told the crowd they'd gotten to know him a little more during this week's convention in tampa. >> last night you got to know me better with some friends that talked about my life, the things that have been part of my life in the past. i talked to you a bit about my family. i was embarrassed from time to time with the nice things people said. some people were overly generous, but i appreciated it. joining us the author of "the real romney." and ron reagan. scott, i'll talk with you. you covered mitt romney's political rise since 1994 when he ran for senate in massachusetts against teddy kennedy. last night how did he do? did we see the real mitt romney? >> i think we definitely saw more of him. he opened up a little bit. i was struck by the emotion that he showed in talking about his sons in particular and sort of almost being wistful about how
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fast the time moves. i thought that was pretty effective. it wasn't that personal of a speech. so -- and i don't think anyone is expecting that doesn't know mitt romney. for him, someone who was very buttoned up and reluctant to get too much into his family life and certainly his faith, i think it was an opening up. i thought the most significant part of it was the degree to which he was willing to let people into his church life, both through his own words and then the very moving words, i thought, of the people who spoke from his congregation. >> one of the major tasks for republicans at this convention was to re-introduce romney to voters for ones that have gotten to know him over the past five years and certainly the ones that have been defined by the obama campaign as this plutocart. a reshaping of this candidate? >> well, it's a curious thing to me, thomas. scott is the expert here. he's written the book on mitt romney. i know mitt romney from his public utterances and what i see
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on television out on the campaign trail. it's striking to me. this man has been running for president since dinosaurs were young and still we're asking the question who is the real mitt romney? is the real mitt romney pro choice or anti-choice? is he pro gun control or anti-gun control ? does he believe that humans are causing climate change or does he not believe that humans are causing climate change? and i'd be interested to hear scott's take on this. where and at what point did mitt romney suddenly embrace with real fer vensy dishonesty? his campaign is a remarkably dishonest campaign. he's literally going out and lying about the president. when did he decide inside himself that that was an acceptable behavior? >> scott, let's get to that. because in your book you talk about the fact that romney started out in 1994 as a political independent. a strong supporter of abortion rights, outspoken in favor of gay rights. he has now said that he is
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opposed to gay rights. he is opposed to o woman's right to choose except in case of incest, rape and where the mother's life is in danger. but when we get to his core beliefs, where are they? and where is the center of that core? >> unfortunately, i think the only way to answer it is you're right, he was a very, very different candidate when he ran in 1994, up and down the line. you mentioned some issues. you could keep going. there are a whole host of them. the mitt romney that we see giving the speech at the republican convention in tampa would be unrecognizable to the mitt romney who ran in '94. the way we have thought about it is that at heart, mitt romney is a pragmatist. he has looked at these elections and figured out who he needs to be and what he needs to do to be successful in them. in '94 running against a liberal ted kennedy in a liberal state, it was to be pretty liberal or moderate. now trying to court the republican party's nomination, you know, he's had to move to the right. this is an endless debate, which
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one is the real one. is he really secretly this. the only way to really know, i guess, is to see what happens if he actually wins the white house because i think it remains an open question. >> ron, i need to ask you before we go, last night we saw clint eastwood take the stage at the top of the prime time hour. a lot of people speculated that maybe your mom, nancy reagan, might be that surprise guest, or they could beam in a hologram of your father. should they have gone with that as opposed to the empty chair? >> first, i did not watch the tribute to my father. i was of a mind to originally but then after hearing paul ryan speak, i just decided that i didn't want to see my father associated with this republican party, which is not his republican party, or these republicans, which are really nothing like him. as far as the hologram goes, my understanding is they thought the hologram of my father would overshadow mitt romney. i think they were probably right. >> ron reagan, scott helman,
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thank you, gentlemen. appreciate your time today. also want to point out, i don't want you to miss chuck todd's documentary on mitt romney, "the making of a candidate." the rebroadcast is 10:00 p.m. tonight on msnbc. chris matthews takes an in-depth look at the presidency and candidacy of barack obama. that debuts monday night at 10:00 right here on msnbc. the place for politics. [ dad ] i'm usually checking up on my kids.
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that's going to wrap things up for me today. thanks so much. have a great holiday weekend. see you back here on monday for labor day at 11:00 a.m. eastern. we will cover the democratic national convention which kicks off in charlotte. until then, follow me on twitter. don't go anywhere. "now" with alex wagner is coming up for the next hour. she has jam-packed show. >> we do have sort of a jam-packed show. >> everyone must watch. everyone stay tuned. coming up, he is finally officially the nominee but is
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governor romney officially a human yet? and did he move the needle with independents, women and hispanics? we will get an analysis from mark halperin, chris hayes and karen finney. plus last night's supporting cast. did strong showings from rubio and bush give the gop a case of buyer's remorse? and hash tag eastwooding. inside the actor's studio host james lipton evaluates clint eastwood's share talk and the optics of governor romney's address. ♪ ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1 on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour 3. [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] zyrtec®. love the air. join zyrtec® rewards. save up to $7 on zyrtec® products.
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what's your policy? who tore out your still beating heart? [ bowling pins ] ok, how's this gonna play? mi amore. [ chicken clucking ] [ male announcer ] bit needy, g. ok don't sweat it. just do your thing. hey! hey! [ male announcer ] definitely a little bit epic. stride. ar ntlr gh rg [ nn ]errequ gh sf owgrl. rg the bar jokes, the hands, the milk, the gingrich duet, the empty chair. the republican national convention is now officially over, leaving the country to ask what just happened. it is friday, august 31st and this is "now."